I am getting married soon.
But before you stop reading because you think I led with that line for cheap applause, please sully forth and read on.
This is about to get embarrassing for me.
I don’t know if it’s cliched; but there does, actually, come a point before you get married when you look back over your single life. And when I look back at mine I see a wasteland of mistakes that I am just, this very minute, coming closer to understanding psychologically.
It will probably take years of therapy before I’m able to sort them all out.
But that's not because I dated terrible women (well... not that many, anyway). It's because of me.
See, I’ve dated some absolutely wonderful people in my life: Genuine, intelligent, beautiful women.
And in my younger years I tried to date some even more genuine, intelligent, beautiful women… but failed.
And I owe all of you an apology. It really wasn’t you, and it really was me. I’m sorry.
For example: to every girl I was ever really good friends with whom I disrespected by waiting until the moment they were single, and then popped the “Why can’t we ever be more than friends?” question seemingly out of nowhere, I’m sorry.
That’s embarrassing and it cheapened our friendship. I am just now understanding how socially reprehensible it is to try to get something out of a crying, broken-hearted woman. I was a terrible person.
Please forgive me.
But I do have a few specific apologies, as well:
To the first girl I ever dated: I’m sorry I effectively ended our relationship by meeting you in the driveway, brandishing two middle fingers aimed right at you because you were ten minutes late for an Indians game. I was eighteen, hot-headed, and overly emotional, and that was wrong. I was impatient, but I’ve gotten better. I’m sorry.
To the girl I met in Cancun on Spring Break: The difference between fifteen years is as follows: At that time, I was really surprised that you wouldn’t ever pick up your phone when we got back to the States, causing me to leave fifteen or twenty messages on your answering machine. Now I am completely surprised you even gave me your real phone number at all. I was basically the guy from Swingers, and I’m sorry if that creeped you out. I was desperate and pathetic.
To the girl I dated when I went back to college for a second bachelor’s degree: I’m sorry I told you I loved you after two weeks and cried on your porch in the rain. That was pathetic, and I didn’t mature past that until I was thirty. I am not claiming to be a knight in shining armor, or a cowboy... or even the macho man sung about by the Village People. I am, however, apologizing.
To the girl I talked to at the party in Bowling Green: I should have known, ten minutes into our conversation on that couch, to simply leave. Nobody at the age of 21 should be that into Beanie Babies. Not even at their peak. But I feigned interest. I had no idea then that you would drive four hours the next weekend to break into my apartment so you could pop out of my closet and surprise me with two duffle bags full of your Beanie Babies. And I should have told you then how creepy that was instead of ignoring it and dating you for three months. I was dishonest in pretending to care about your hobby when I shouldn’t have. My bad. Please accept my apology.
Also, thanks for the St. Patrick’s Day Bear. I believe I still have it.
But, before I tie the knot, I have one more apology I need to make. And that is to my fianceé, who is about to tie that knot with me.
I need to point out how incredible it is to be marrying someone who can watch as much news and politics as I do and yell back at the TV during a politician's speech with me. Readers: you have to understand, this is really the only person in the universe who would TOLERATE that behavior in me, let alone MIRROR it. Anyone else should have stabbed me to death in my sleep.
And you have to understand, dear reader, that despite knowing that I am this embarrassing to date; and this immature and naive; and this politically obnoxious; despite all that, she still loves and wants to be with me. Despite all my past flaws and embarrassing traits—things that even I cannot stand about myself—she is somehow okay with all of them.
So, I’m sorry.
Every day, I’m still learning and working.
I’ll spend a lifetime trying to make it up to you.